05:00PM, Friday 02 April 2021
Mark Cooper was feeling as bright as the weather ahead of training on Tuesday afternoon as he prepared to participate in Windsor FC’s first session since December.
The Royalists are just one of many grassroots football teams throughout the country who have been getting back in the swing of it after the community game was permitted to return on Monday.
Speaking to the Advertiser on Tuesday, Cooper said he was overjoyed to be getting back into action and finally be able to see his team after a lengthy spell away from Stag Meadow.
“We haven’t been in the players’ company for about three and a half months now so it will be a brilliant feeling to be back together,” he said.
“The boys have needed to be out and playing football and it’s a great day to return weather-wise.
“We will be putting in some hard work on the ball, reacquaint ourselves as a team, and get ourselves ready for some friendlies and the imminent Hellenic Cup competition.
“We’ve had a Strava running challenge where I’ve had half the players and Spence (Spencer Meredith) has had half of the players to see which team can clock up the greatest number of kilometres.
“We’ve done a huge amount of running in the past couple of weeks as a way to keep ourselves fit so the boys should be in relatively good shape.”
Cooper hopes a schedule of friendlies and regular training sessions will stand his side in good stead for the Hellenic Cup competition due to start later this month.
“There are 32 teams in this tournament, comprised of eight groups of four, and we’re with a tough bunch,” said Cooper.
“We have Virginia Water and the teams in the league below who finished first and second. We will play each other home and away and then the two teams who top the group will go through to the last 16.
“We hope we can be successful in it and we want to play as much football as possible because of how long we’ve had away from the game. To prepare, we’ve got some friendlies lined up and will be working hard at training in between then to keep our fitness levels high.
“We play Slough Town u23s this Saturday before Yately United next weekend.”
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